THUNDER BAY – Thirteen single-detached starts in December in Thunder Bay CMA lifted the total number of housing starts to 204, up almost 23 per cent from 2009, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). A slightly above average fourth quarter secured a solid year for single-detached construction.
This is the first time, since 2004 that the number has climbed over 200 starts. “After a relatively slow beginning to 2010, starts hit their stride in May and for the following five months at least 20 foundations were poured each month. An improving economy, increased in-migration, low mortgage rates and a reasonably tight resale market have provided good conditions for the new home market over the past year,” according to CMHC’s Market Analyst Warren Philp.
Starts activity was most frequent in Neebing ward, followed by McIntyre and Red River within the city limits, while Oliver-Paipoonge and Shuniah Townships witnessed the most in the outlying municipalities within the Census Metropolitan Area.
The 48 single-detached units started in the fourth quarter were just above the five-year average for fourth quarters in Thunder Bay CMA. Multiple unit development picked up slightly in 2010. Eighteen semi, row and apartment units started in 2010, up from 14 last year.
The figures however over the past twenty years demonstrate that the market is down from the higher numbers of the past. The past five years however have seen the numbers remain fairly even. The real drop in housing starts in our community started back in 1997, and have then remained fairly consistant since then.